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Introduction to Psychology

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Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Lesson 43
Try to find answers to these questions
·  Why do manufacturers advertise their products?
·  Why do advertisers use models in the advertisements?
·  Why do advertisers use cartoons rather than human models in the advertisements of children's
Why do manufacturers introduce only one new model in a year?
How will we decide what to buy if there were no advertisements?
Consumer Psychology
The branch of psychology that studies consumers' buying behavior and the effect of
advertisement on these behaviors.
Consumer psychology focuses upon consumers' decision making and their behavior in the
market place.
The effect of advertisement on people's attitude and buying habits is an area of special interest
for a consumer psychologist.
Consumer psychology is division 23 of apa.
Focus of Interest
What Do Consumer Psychologists Study?
The responsive attitude of humans towards the product and service related information and
Responses such as emotions, feelings, attitudes, beliefs and judgment as well as purchase
decisions and consumption practices.
Information about the product and the related service information are very important.
Variables such as advertisements, product packaging, package labels, coupons, consumer
magazines, and word- of - mouth communication with the near ones that affect consumer
Also brand loyalty, product preference, price, marketing and selling strategies are
Aim or Goal
The main aim or goal of consumer psychology is to describe, predict, influence, and/ or explain
consumer responses.
Consumer Psychologist
Consumer psychologists are the psychologists who are educated and trained in understanding
consumer habits and the influence of advertisements on consumers' attitudes, thoughts and
Other tasks of consumer psychologist
·  Consumer psychologists are educators, trainers, researchers as well as administrators.
·  Understanding and predicting consumer behavior is not an easy task.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
·  Even the experienced salesmen are not able to accurately read the consumer's mind.
·  The main task of a consumer psychologist is to conduct consumer research.
History of consumer psychology
j b. watson was the first ever-prominent psychologist to apply principles of psychology in the
field of advertising.
watson believed that psychology could not be recognized as a scientific discipline until its
practical utility is proved by its application and demonstration in real life situations.
According to watson
"If psychology would follow the plan i suggest, the educator, the physician, the jurist, and the
businessman could utilize our data in a practical way."
he himself designed ads for johnson and johnson's baby powder.
in that ad, he not only targeted the emotions and anxieties of mothers, but also used the experts'
recommendations and the impact of using the product.
Focus of interest
The main focus of interest of consumer psychology is:
To emphasize the consumer's problems, likes, dislikes and preferences
Develop strategies for making ads, influencing purchasing decisions, innovative marketing, brand
and product techniques.
Sub- fields of consumer psychology
Life stages: time, experiences and preferences have a physical as well as psychological effect.
Psychology of price
Market research
Important terminology of consumer psychology
Consumer behavior
Product choice
Product preference
Brand loyalty
Learning principles used for attracting consumers
Classical conditioning
Advertisers use models to create a positive feeling and attraction for the product.
Operant conditioning
Manufacturers announce prizes, prize coupons, and extra amounts of product, upsized products at same
price, price reductions, and lucky draws for consumers.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Observational learning
advertisements show renowned people using the product under question so that potential consumers feel
like following their footsteps.
Some factors affecting product preference
·  personality type and brand loyalty
·  peer pressure
·  product price
·  reputation of the product
·  packaging: color, wrappers, shape, size, captions etc
·  quality of the product
·  advertisement
·  need
Advertising appeals
Advertisements are to develop a positive image about the product by using attractive models and positive
feelings like happiness, excitement, curiosity, and desire.
Two main techniques are used to make advertisements:
i. soft sell appeals
ii. hard sell appeals
i. Soft sell appeal
An approach used to selling the product in which the softer aspects of the product are promoted.
the product is associated with an image related to the product's use.
The soft sell delivers the message that the potential buyers will obtain or radiate a desirable image through
the use of the product.
The purpose is to attract the potential buyer through the peripheral rout.
Here the image rather than the product is sold.
Examples of the soft sell appeal
Advertisements promoting cosmetics talk about the beauty of the model.
As of men's products deliver messages about the manliness of the male model, or how people
are impressed by his masculinity e.g. advertisements of cigarettes.
ii. Hard sell
The hard sell approach is the opposite of the soft sell appeal.
It focuses on the qualities of the product itself.
The advertisers promote the function of the product
Qualities like taste, smell, speed, durability, efficiency, dependability, and/or its nutritional value are
It is stressed as to how much improved the consumers' lives will be because of using the product being
Examples of the hard sell appeal
Advertisements of automobiles, joggers, mechanical instruments, exercisers, metal products, air
conditioners etc.
Research findings about advertising appeals
·  Children's products are sold through soft sell appeal.
·  In case of women's products soft sell appeal is used in advertisements of cosmetics, toilet
soaps, and garments.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
·  But in case of women's perfumes or shoes hard sell appeal is preferred.
·  Advertisements of household linen and paints use the hard sell appeal.
Self- monitoring and buying behaviors
Self monitoring has been found to be an important variable in ones buying behavior and experimenting
with new products.
Self monitoring is the tendency to consider our own behavior and changing it in order to present us well in
particular social situations
High self- monitors are flexible in nature and adjust their behavior from situation to situation in an attempt
to present them in an effective manner.
They are concerned about the image they project and are apt to show conspicuous variations in their
behavior from one social context to the next
In contrast, low self- monitors are relatively more "fixed" in their general attitude.
They are much less sensitive to the demands of different social settings, and their behavior is more
indicative of their attitudes, values and beliefs.
The behavior of low self- monitors is considerably more consistent across situations, as compared to that of
high self- monitors
High self-monitors are affected more by advertisements in general and soft sell appeal in particular.
Psychographics: investigating the psychology of the consumers
When the manufacturer launches a product, or the advertiser plans a campaign, they have to be aware of the
needs of the potential buyers.
Research has shown that people belonging to different backgrounds and different socioeconomic classes
have different buying needs and behaviors.
It has been identified that people with different lifestyles and needs go for different varieties of products.
Researchers have used different psychological profiles of people based upon their lifestyles to predict and
target their needs.
Psychographics is a technique for dividing people into life style profiles that are related to purchasing
Such profiles take into account characteristics as marital status, race and ethnic background, and educational
level, as well as the kinds of activities that potential buyers engage in.
One of the most popular and widely used general classification systems for consumers is vals or values and
lifestyles (mitchell, 1983).
the vals approach divides consumers into four major groups.
vals nine american lifestyles
Need driven consumers include?
Outer- directed consumers include
Inner- directed consumers include
i- am- me
Societal conscious
Combined outer- and inner- directed group
research findings show that members of particular subcultures will have distinct purchasing patterns.
Different groups have significant differences in values and interests, besides the socio- economic
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
·awareness of these differences enables the sellers to attempt to target products and advertisements toward
certain groups.
a. Need- driven consumers
they make purchases primarily to satisfy basic, elemental needs.
Outer- directed consumers:
they make purchases in order to increase their own self- awareness.
the outer- and inner- directed consumers have similar social and self- needs
like maslow's hierarchy, the first few levels in the vals hierarchy classify groups of individuals whose needs
are largely related to two particular lifestyles,
The survivors and the sustainers
both of these are small, impoverished groups whose basic preoccupation is to simply ` living'.
these groups have limited material resources.
the range of products that are advertised through advertisers is quite limited for the sustainers and the
the manufacturers, sellers, and the advertisers are keener to work upon the groups that have the financial
means to purchase the products that they are there to sell.
there are two other categories:
the i- am-me's (young, egocentric people confused about their goals in life).
the experientials (former i-am- me `s who become surer of their goals and more outward looking) and
socially conscious (mature, well informed individuals with a strong interest in social issues such as politics or
the environment).
Psychographic profiles can be used for many reasons
·  Identifying specific needs of people coming from specific backgrounds i.e., where to sell tissue
papers, and where to paste the advertising posters.
Also, these help in deciding the medium of advertising.
For example, in areas without electricity tv ads would be meaningless.
Instead radio could be an apt medium since most people will be listening to a transistor.
Sub cultural differences in consumer behavior
consumer research has revealed a lot about the understanding of differences that exist between sub groups
within the general population.
the way different groups make decisions regarding purchase are different e.g. in our culture taking loans for
buying household goods is generally not considered desirable.
studies on sub cultural differences in consumer behavior have revealed that clear differences exist between
different racial and ethnic groups.
Consumer cognitive processing: decision making in the marketplace
how do you decide which product to buy, which brand to stick to, and which new brand or product to buy?
Micro marketing is a technique of targeting marketing efforts to particular buyers on a neighborhood or
even individual store level.
Problem recognition:
the first process in the model is to recognize that some types of needs exist.
in the case of the cell phone that continually breaks down, the need is to buy a new one. in the other cases,
such as buying a music system, the need is not fully clear, and a certain amount of cognitive efforts is
required before one can make decision.
Information search:
once the problem is clear; the consumer gathers relevant information through different sources.
Evaluations of alternatives:
different alternatives gathered after research are compared and contrasted.
their pros and consequence are evaluated.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Brand beliefs:
consumers also make decisions regarding their brand beliefs and brand loyalties.
brand beliefs are the assumptions held by consumers of a product, based on their knowledge of the
reputation of the manufacturer.
prior experience with a brand also plays a role in taking a decision.
finally the purchase is made.
when purchasing a product the consumer tries to keep the risk to the minimum.
he may seek a guarantee or assurance.
post purchase evaluation
Last stage in the decision buying process
In this stage, we assess the decision to buy, including the choice of the product.
Advantages and qualities are also evaluated.
In case of an expensive choice, the consumer may experience cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance reduction strategies may be used here
However if the re evaluation suggests that in spite of being expensive the product was worth
buying, then there may be no cognitive dissonance.
Table of Contents:
  1. WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?:Theoretical perspectives of psychology
  3. SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT:Biological Approach, Psychodynamic Approach
  4. PERSPECTIVE/MODEL/APPROACH:Narcosis, Chemotherapy
  5. THE PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH/ MODEL:Psychic Determinism, Preconscious
  6. BEHAVIORAL APPROACH:Behaviorist Analysis, Basic Terminology, Basic Terminology
  8. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY (I):Scientific Nature of Psychology
  9. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY (II):Experimental Research
  11. COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT:Socio- Cultural Factor, The Individual and the Group
  12. NERVOUS SYSTEM (1):Biological Bases of Behavior, Terminal Buttons
  13. NERVOUS SYSTEM (2):Membranes of the Brain, Association Areas, Spinal Cord
  14. ENDOCRINE SYSTEM:Pineal Gland, Pituitary Gland, Dwarfism
  15. SENSATION:The Human Eye, Cornea, Sclera, Pupil, Iris, Lens
  16. HEARING (AUDITION) AND BALANCE:The Outer Ear, Auditory Canal
  17. PERCEPTION I:Max Wertheimer, Figure and Ground, Law of Closure
  18. PERCEPTION II:Depth Perception, Relative Height, Linear Perspective
  19. ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS:Electroencephalogram, Hypnosis
  20. LEARNING:Motor Learning, Problem Solving, Basic Terminology, Conditioning
  21. OPERANT CONDITIONING:Negative Rein forcer, Punishment, No reinforcement
  22. COGNITIVE APPROACH:Approach to Learning, Observational Learning
  23. MEMORY I:Functions of Memory, Encoding and Recoding, Retrieval
  24. MEMORY II:Long-Term Memory, Declarative Memory, Procedural Memory
  25. MEMORY III:Memory Disorders/Dysfunctions, Amnesia, Dementia
  26. SECONDARY/ LEARNT/ PSYCHOLOGICAL MOTIVES:Curiosity, Need for affiliation
  27. EMOTIONS I:Defining Emotions, Behavioral component, Cognitive component
  28. EMOTIONS II:Respiratory Changes, Pupillometrics, Glandular Responses
  29. COGNITION AND THINKING:Cognitive Psychology, Mental Images, Concepts
  31. PERSONALITY I:Definition of Personality, Theories of Personality
  32. PERSONALITY II:Surface traits, Source Traits, For learning theorists, Albert Bandura
  33. PERSONALITY III:Assessment of Personality, Interview, Behavioral Assessment
  34. INTELLIGENCE:The History of Measurement of Intelligence, Later Revisions
  35. PSYCHOPATHOLOGY:Plato, Aristotle, Asclepiades, In The Middle Ages
  36. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR I:Medical Perspective, Psychodynamic Perspective
  37. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR II:Hypochondriasis, Conversion Disorders, Causes include
  38. PSYCHOTHERAPY I:Psychotherapeutic Orientations, Clinical Psychologists
  39. PSYCHOTHERAPY II:Behavior Modification, Shaping, Humanistic Therapies
  40. POPULAR AREAS OF PSYCHOLOGY:ABC MODEL, Factors affecting attitude change
  41. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY:Understanding Health, Observational Learning
  42. INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY:‘Hard’ Criteria and ‘Soft’ Criteria
  43. CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Focus of Interest, Consumer Psychologist
  44. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Some Research Findings, Arousal level
  45. FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY:Origin and History of Forensic Psychology